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Theory and Applications of Satellite Laser Altimetry in Oceanography and Limnology

A special issue of Remote Sensing (ISSN 2072-4292). This special issue belongs to the section "Satellite Missions for Earth and Planetary Exploration".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 April 2023) | Viewed by 19803

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Sino-Australian Research Consortium for Coastal Management, School of Science, University of New South Wales, Australian Defence Force Academy, P.O. Box 7916, Canberra, BC ACT 2610, Australia
Interests: physical oceanography in bays and estuaries; numerical modelling in shallow seas; bottom boundary layer and sediment transport dynamics; satellite oceanography; coastal integrated management systems
School of Electronic Information, Wuhan University, Wuhan, China
Interests: lidar signal modelling and system simulation; signal processing and calibration/validation; coastal applications for satellite laser altimetry
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Compared to satellite radar altimeters, laser altimeters have a smaller footprint and higher vertical accuracy. During the past decades, satellite laser altimeters/lidars (e.g., ICESat, CALIOP, ICESat-2, GEDI, and GF-7) achieved great success in monitoring Earth’s polar region, retrieving forest canopy heights, assessing the biomass changes, detecting the aerosol and clouds, and monitoring the sea level. Currently, the new generation of satellite laser altimetry operating in photon-counting mode is equipped with more sensitive detectors and has been implemented in satellite derived bathymetry with a green laser. With the advantage of the water penetration and small footprint, satellite laser altimetry is very promising to expand the applications in oceanography and limnology, such as monitoring the coastal sea level, significant wave height, inherent optical properties, shallow water bathymetry, and water level changing of lakes. This Special Issue will highlight the theory and applications of satellite laser altimetry in oceanography and limnology. We also invite papers on the new theory and applications in other remote sensing fields using satellite laser altimetry, radar altimetry, and multiple sensors.

Prof. Dr. Xiao Hua Wang
Prof. Dr. Yue Ma
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Remote Sensing is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2700 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Satellite Laser Altimetry
  • Satellite Radar Altimetry
  • Photon-counting Lidar
  • Oceanography and Limnology
  • Satellite Derived Bathymetry
  • Inherent Optical Properties
  • Water Level Changing

Published Papers (8 papers)

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17 pages, 7083 KiB  
Article
A Calibration Method for Large-Footprint Full-Waveform Airborne Laser Altimeter without a Calibration Field
by Shaoning Li, Qifan Yu, Anmin Fu and Guo Zhang
Remote Sens. 2023, 15(11), 2789; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs15112789 - 27 May 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1209
Abstract
The geometrical measurement precision of laser spots is affected by the deviation between the parameters of the laser altimeter and the laboratory measurement results, and the inversion accuracy of surface object height is also limited. The measurement parameters and the load state can [...] Read more.
The geometrical measurement precision of laser spots is affected by the deviation between the parameters of the laser altimeter and the laboratory measurement results, and the inversion accuracy of surface object height is also limited. The measurement parameters and the load state can be obtained by calibration of the laser altimeter system. Usually, ground detectors are deployed to calibrate the measurement parameters of the laser altimeter, including the divergence angle and the energy distribution of the laser beam. A calibration method for a laser footprint spot without a calibration field was proposed in this paper, focused on the airborne large-footprint laser altimeter system. The geometric parameters of the laser spot were calibrated through the laser echo waveforms of a specific terrain. The experimental results show that geometric calibration of the large-footprint laser altimeter can be achieved in the area of the step surface. The divergence angle of the laser beams obtained from the six experimental areas is 4.604 ± 0.359 mRad, and the consistency of the energy distribution from each laser spot reaches 92.67%. A new method of on-orbit calibration and verification is provided for the satellite laser altimeter system. Full article
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16 pages, 3055 KiB  
Communication
Satellite-Derived Bathymetry with Sediment Classification Using ICESat-2 and Multispectral Imagery: Case Studies in the South China Sea and Australia
by Shaoyu Li, Xiao Hua Wang, Yue Ma and Fanlin Yang
Remote Sens. 2023, 15(4), 1026; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs15041026 - 13 Feb 2023
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2438
Abstract
Achieving coastal and shallow-water bathymetry is essential for understanding the marine environment and for coastal management. Bathymetric data in shallow sea areas can currently be obtained using SDB (satellite-derived bathymetry) with multispectral satellites based on depth inversion models. In situ bathymetric data are [...] Read more.
Achieving coastal and shallow-water bathymetry is essential for understanding the marine environment and for coastal management. Bathymetric data in shallow sea areas can currently be obtained using SDB (satellite-derived bathymetry) with multispectral satellites based on depth inversion models. In situ bathymetric data are crucial for validating empirical models but are currently limited in remote and unapproachable areas. In this paper, instead of using the measured water depth data, ICESat-2 (Ice, Cloud, and Land Elevation Satellite-2) ATL03 bathymetric points at different acquisition dates and multispectral imagery from Sentinel-2/GeoEye-1 were used to train and evaluate water depth inversion empirical models in two study regions: Shanhu Island in the South China Sea, and Heron Island in the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) in Australia. However, different sediment types also influenced the SDB results. Therefore, three types of sediments (sand, reef, and coral/algae) were analyzed for Heron Island, and four types of sediments (sand, reef, rubble and coral/algae) were analyzed for Shanhu Island. The results show that accuracy generally improved when sediment classification information was considered in both study areas. For Heron Island, the sand sediments showed the best performance in both models compared to the other sediments, with mean R2 and RMSE values of 0.90 and 1.52 m, respectively, representing a 5.6% improvement of the latter metric. For Shanhu Island, the rubble sediments showed the best accuracy in both models, and the average R2 and RMSE values were 0.97 and 0.65 m, respectively, indicating an RMSE improvement of 15.5%. Finally, bathymetric maps were generated in two regions based on the sediment classification results. Full article
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21 pages, 7814 KiB  
Article
ICESat-2 Bathymetric Signal Reconstruction Method Based on a Deep Learning Model with Active–Passive Data Fusion
by Zihao Leng, Jie Zhang, Yi Ma and Jingyu Zhang
Remote Sens. 2023, 15(2), 460; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs15020460 - 12 Jan 2023
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1681
Abstract
When carrying out SDB (satellite-derived bathymetry) in island area based on ICESat-2 (Ice, Cloud, and land Elevation Satellite 2) data, it is often found that the ICESat-2 bathymetric signals are partially missing due to the influence of thick aerosols such as clouds and [...] Read more.
When carrying out SDB (satellite-derived bathymetry) in island area based on ICESat-2 (Ice, Cloud, and land Elevation Satellite 2) data, it is often found that the ICESat-2 bathymetric signals are partially missing due to the influence of thick aerosols such as clouds and fog. This not only hinders the accurate extraction of the along-track underwater topography, but also restricts the active–passive fusion bathymetry based on ICESat-2 data and multi/hyperspectral remote sensing images. In this paper, aiming at the partially missing ICESat-2 bathymetric signals, combined with passive optical remote sensing images, and based on an LSTM (long short-term memory) deep recurrent neural network model, an ICESat-2 bathymetric signal reconstruction method based on active–passive data fusion is proposed. It is found that this method can effectively reconstruct the local missing bathymetric signals. When the reconstructed ICESat-2 bathymetric data are applied to carry out active–passive fusion and bathymetric inversion, the accuracy indices are better than those of the inversion results of the data with partial missing signals, and the performance is comparable to that of the original data without missing data, which is of great value for the bathymetric application of ICESat-2 data in island and reef areas. Full article
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22 pages, 10036 KiB  
Article
Water Level Change Monitoring Based on a New Denoising Algorithm Using Data from Landsat and ICESat-2: A Case Study of Miyun Reservoir in Beijing
by Junfeng Xie, Binbo Li, Huihui Jiao, Qingqing Zhou, Yongkang Mei, Donghai Xie, Yu Wu, Xiaoyang Sun and Ying Fu
Remote Sens. 2022, 14(17), 4344; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs14174344 - 1 Sep 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2430
Abstract
Inland lakes or reservoirs are the main surface water resources, related to people’s survival and social development. On-site water level data are critical for water resource management, while satellite laser and remote sensing data are a significant tool for long-term change monitoring. In [...] Read more.
Inland lakes or reservoirs are the main surface water resources, related to people’s survival and social development. On-site water level data are critical for water resource management, while satellite laser and remote sensing data are a significant tool for long-term change monitoring. In this study, we took the Miyun Reservoir, the most important source of drinking water in Beijing, as the research area. We used Landsat images and the Ice, Cloud, and Land Elevation Satellite (ICESat-2) for small-scale water level change monitoring and inversion across unrecorded periods. First, we proposed a new two-step denoising method based on local statistics to denoise the ATL03 single photon data from 2018 to 2020, and extracted the effective elevation information of Miyun Reservoir. Second, based on Landsat images from 1984 to 2020, the MNDWI index was used to extract the water area and generated a percentage map of water occurrence. Finally, the water and land boundary elevation were selected from the effective photon elevation information according to the boundary position under each percentage of the water generation percentage graph, the area, and the water level elevation model (A–E model) was established, and the water level values of unrecorded periods were inverted. The denoising results showed that the denoising accuracy of all data is higher than 95%. The area of Miyun Reservoir has changed greatly in the past 37 years, especially in the northeast corner and northern region. The inverted water level elevation had a strong correlation with the measured value, the correlation coefficient reached 0.97, the root mean square error (RMSE) was 0.553 m, and the estimated water level value was highly consistent with the recorded value and fluctuated dramatically from 1984 to 2020. This method complements the traditional water level mapping method, provides a new idea for the monitoring of water level changes in lakes or reservoirs without field records, and also contributes to the timely and effective monitoring and management of global lake and reservoir water level and time changes. Full article
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17 pages, 6060 KiB  
Article
Research on Internal Solitary Wave Detection and Analysis Based on Interferometric Imaging Radar Altimeter Onboard the Tiangong-2 Space Laboratory
by Hao Zhang, Chenqing Fan, Junmin Meng, Shibao Li and Lina Sun
Remote Sens. 2022, 14(1), 174; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs14010174 - 31 Dec 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2401
Abstract
The Tiangong-2 space laboratory was launched by China on 15 September 2016, carrying the Interferometric Imaging Radar Altimeter (InIRA), the first of the latest generation of imaging altimeters that can perform imaging and acquire elevation information simultaneously. This paper analyzes the feasibility of [...] Read more.
The Tiangong-2 space laboratory was launched by China on 15 September 2016, carrying the Interferometric Imaging Radar Altimeter (InIRA), the first of the latest generation of imaging altimeters that can perform imaging and acquire elevation information simultaneously. This paper analyzes the feasibility of using InIRA images to obtain two-dimensional characteristics of oceanic internal solitary waves (ISWs) and information about vertical sea surface fluctuations caused by the propagation of ISWs. The results show that InIRA demonstrates a relatively reliable ability to observe ISWs with high resolution and can identify the fine-scale features of ISWs of different forms. Furthermore, InIRA can observe centimeter-level changes in the Sea Surface Height Anomaly (SSHA) caused by ISWs. The geometric relationship between the sensor’s flight direction and the propagation direction of ISWs does not affect its detection effect. However, the swath width of InIRA is too narrow to fully capture ISW information, and the height accuracy of InIRA height product images is not insufficient to detect the height information of small-scale ISWs. These shortcomings need to be considered in the future development of imaging altimeters to increase their potential for detecting mesoscale phenomena in the ocean. Full article
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18 pages, 5854 KiB  
Article
Ultra-Violet Mie Lidar Observations of Particulates Vertical Profiles in Macao during a Record High Pollution Episode
by Qiaojun Liu, Andrew Yuksun Cheng, Jianhua Zhu, Sauwa Chang and Kinseng Tam
Remote Sens. 2022, 14(1), 118; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs14010118 - 28 Dec 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1607
Abstract
Vertical profiles of particulates were measured in Macao by using a 355 nm Mie scattering lidar during a dust event. A high energy pulse laser was employed as the light source to detect the extinction coefficient in the atmosphere. The extinction profiles showed [...] Read more.
Vertical profiles of particulates were measured in Macao by using a 355 nm Mie scattering lidar during a dust event. A high energy pulse laser was employed as the light source to detect the extinction coefficient in the atmosphere. The extinction profiles showed layers of high aerosol concentrations in good agreement with both back trajectory analysis and ground-based pollution measurements in Macao, which indicate that this lidar is very useful for monitoring extinction profiles during extreme high aerosol loading and low visibility atmospheric conditions when most low energy lidar system is inefficient. The results evidenced that correlations between PM2.5 and TSP varied with the intensity of dust storm and the PM2.5/PM10 ratio was small during dust episode, which indicated that aerosols were dominated by large particles. Furthermore, results of the dust event showed high aerosol concentrations at altitudes where the wind carried the dusty aerosols from northern China, covering Shanghai and the Taiwan Channel, to the Pearl River Delta Region. This research improved the understanding of the dust properties in Macao. Full article
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8 pages, 42784 KiB  
Technical Note
Spatial Analysis of a Rapid Intrusion Event of the East Australian Current Using High Frequency Radar Data
by Senyang Xie, Xiao Hua Wang, Yuwei Hu and Zhi Huang
Remote Sens. 2022, 14(17), 4199; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs14174199 - 26 Aug 2022
Viewed by 1385
Abstract
The East Australian Current (EAC) is a highly dynamic western boundary current of the South Pacific Gyre. The EAC frequently encroaches shoreward, drives upwelling, changes coastal bio-physical dynamics, and thus exerts significant impacts on coastal marine ecosystems. In this study, with high frequency [...] Read more.
The East Australian Current (EAC) is a highly dynamic western boundary current of the South Pacific Gyre. The EAC frequently encroaches shoreward, drives upwelling, changes coastal bio-physical dynamics, and thus exerts significant impacts on coastal marine ecosystems. In this study, with high frequency (HF) radar and mooring data, for the first time accurate daily mapping and tracking of a rapid EAC intrusion event was conducted and the impacts of the EAC intrusion on the shelf water off Coffs Harbor were monitored. The results show that, during the event, the EAC was highly dynamic with a mean daily onshore/offshore movement of ~5 km/day. In addition, we found that the bottom ocean temperature and the surface current speed on the shelf varied linearly with the EAC-to-coast distance. This study thus demonstrates the value of HF remotely sensed data for the ongoing quantitative monitoring of the highly dynamic EAC fluctuations. Full article
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17 pages, 4419 KiB  
Technical Note
Global Estimation and Assessment of Monthly Lake/Reservoir Water Level Changes Using ICESat-2 ATL13 Products
by Nan Xu, Huiying Zheng, Yue Ma, Jian Yang, Xinyuan Liu and Xiaohua Wang
Remote Sens. 2021, 13(14), 2744; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs13142744 - 13 Jul 2021
Cited by 36 | Viewed by 4758
Abstract
Accurate and detailed information on lake/reservoir water levels and temporal changes around the globe is urgently required for water resource management and related studies. The traditional satellite radar altimeters normally monitor water level changes of large lakes and reservoirs (i.e., greater than 1 [...] Read more.
Accurate and detailed information on lake/reservoir water levels and temporal changes around the globe is urgently required for water resource management and related studies. The traditional satellite radar altimeters normally monitor water level changes of large lakes and reservoirs (i.e., greater than 1 km2) around the world. Fortunately, the recent Ice, Cloud, and land Elevation Satellite-2 (ICESat-2) makes it possible to monitor water level changes for some small lakes and reservoirs (i.e., less than 1 km2). ICESat-2 ATL13 products provide observations of inland water surface heights, which are suitable for water level estimation at a global scale. In this study, ICESat-2 ATL13 products were used to conduct a global estimation and assessment of lake/reservoir water level changes. We produced monthly water levels for 13,843 lakes and reservoirs with areas greater than 0.1 km2 and all-season ATL13 products across the globe, in which 2257 targets are smaller than 1 km2. In total, the average valid number of months covered by ICESat-2 is 5.41 months and only 204 of 13,843 lakes and reservoirs have water levels in all the months in 2019. In situ water level data from 21 gauge stations across the United States and 12 gauge stations across Australia were collected to assess the monthly lake/reservoir water levels, which exhibited a high accuracy (RMSE = 0.08 m, r = 0.999). According to comparisons between the monthly water levels and changes from ATL08 products in another study and ATL13 products in this study, we found that both products can accurately estimate the monthly water level of lakes and reservoirs, but water levels derived from ATL13 products exhibited a higher accuracy compared with water levels derived from ATL08 products (RMSE = 0.28 m, r = 0.999). In general, the ATL13 product is more convenient because the HydroLAKES mask of inland water bodies, the orthometric height (with respect to the EGM2008 geoid) of water surfaces, and several data quality parameters specific to water surfaces were involved in the ATL13 product. Full article
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